Owning a real estate property comes with a lot of responsibilities. Aside from having to pay for real estate taxes to the government, a property owner also needs to pay for the upkeep and maintenance of their real estate property to avoid accidents that may lead to a personal injury claims against the owner. Commercial properties like grocery stores and others that customers visit frequently should be more aware of the consequences of a poorly maintained property.
It can be very advantageous to you if you own a commercial property that has a lot of foot traffic; however, this also increases the probability of someone getting injured when your property is not well-maintained. Having a well-maintained commercial property not only saves you the trouble of having to settle personal injury claims in the event of a slip and fall accident, but it can also bring you more customers in the long run. Remember, aside from having an excellent location, customers also come into an establishment if it looks clean, safe, and well-maintained.
Here are some of the more common causes of slip and fall accidents in commercial establishments:
1. Slippery surfaces. – A little spill on one of your grocery aisle may seem like a small thing, but not having it cleaned up right away may open you up to liability if a customer slips and falls. The parking lot of your commercial property may also become slippery come winter time due to snow, even the entryway of your establishment if it has been raining.
2. Unsecured stairs. – Stairs without railings can be very dangerous since customers can tumble down without the support that railings provide. Making the steps of the stairs small can also be dangerous even if it only has one or two levels.
3. Uneven walkways. – Chipped or cracked tiles could also lead to accidents since they create uneven flooring that could cause customers to trip and fall. Uneven walkways increase the chances of someone tripping on your establishment.
4. Poorly maintained elevators. – Although it’s not very common, elevators may also cause a slip and fall accident. A poorly maintained elevator could open its door even though its lip is not on the same level as the floor which leaves a small ledge that can cause a customer to trip.
As a commercial property owner, what can you do to prevent customers from suffering injuries within your establishment? Here are some simple tips that can help you:
1. Regular interior and exterior maintenance. – If you keep your establishment maintained regularly, the probability of any customer getting into an accident is significantly reduced; this will also enable you to address small problems immediately to prevent them from becoming significant issues that will cost more to fix.
2. Warning signs. – This is an effortless way for you to avoid having accidents in your establishments. Have a warning sign your customers can easily see. Warning signs for wet floors, slippery surfaces, and others are easily purchased and do not cost much but are effective in reducing the risk of accidents.
3. Better lighting. – Your customers will be able to see wet patches on your floor or in the parking lot if there’s good lighting. The reflection of the light on the wet surface will warn your customers, and good lighting will also enable them to see where they are walking and avoid debris on the walkway.
4. Handicap accessories. – Consider adding handicap accessories to your property. Some states require adding handicap ramps and walking handrails to their establishments, but if you live in a state where it’s not required, you can add these and make your establishment better, it also opens up your business to a bigger clientele.
Are you involved in a slip and fall claim or personal injury because of negligence? Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.
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